Thursday, June 30, 2011

Porch Progress

My latest project has been to try and sew cushions and curtains for the porch.  I am only using what I have on hand, so it's a bit more challenging than to just pop in the fabric store and buy whatever I like.  Never mind that the closest fabric store is a state away anyway.  So I'm raiding my stash of vintage linens and hoping it'll somehow all match up.
Most of my linens are thrift store finds and many have little spots or holes, so I'm not just cutting up pristine things.  My really nice pieces, though few, will remain intact.  I am mostly using old tablecloths from the 1050's and embroidered towels.

I'm keeping all the extra pieces of the cloths and plan to stitch them together in a patchworky sort of way for a valance to cover the not so attractive, but useful bamboo blinds.  I'm making up a bunch of extra little pillows as well so that I can mix and match and move things around as needed. 

Finding time to sew is a bit hit and miss.  I moved the sewing machine to the dining room so I can work away in spare moments.  The dining room is a total disaster on one end, just so you know.  The other end is clear, so we can eat, but just barely.
Most of the day was raining, so the boys played on the porch as I worked around them.  Cupcake joined in the fun at random times between naps.  It's so nice to have a place for them to all be that is outside, but not in the rain! 
The wicker is a mix of pieces we owned and pieces the prior owners left behind for us.  They left a lot of junk, so it was nice to have a few good things thrown in to the mix.  The rug in the center was left behind as well.  It was in the entryway, but everybody just kept tripping on it.  It's working a lot better out here!
In the corner you'll see a tall wooden piece.  It's our Edison.  It's a record player that Thomas Edison designed and patented.  We've been enjoying playing the records and have shared a few dances. 

The door you see next to the Edison is to a little closed off part that was added on.  It houses an old freezer that I am using as a pantry, and my dryer.  It's screened in as well, though the screen is mostly falling off.  The washer is located on the other side of the house in the bathroom in case you were wondering.  It's really not that convenient.  Right now I'm using the clothesline on any remotely sunny day, but I sure did freeze doing laundry this winter!  We're discussing how to make this work better.  Dryers weren't a part of life when this place was built in 1920.

The dark wooden seats in front of the window are from the old theatre here in town that was torn down last month.  A set of the original seats was saved by a neighbor, but he had no place for them so now they live here. 
 I love this little wicker chair.  We bought it years ago and the boys regularly sit in it to read.  I had the milk bottles from awhile back, so I thought they'd be at home by the front door.  The antique suitcases sitting around have stuff to read and some cozy throws will be stored in them as well.  Sweetheart added a fun old walking stick I'll have to remember to photograph as well as our collection of vintage umbrellas.  It all adds a bit of whimsy.

I am loving this wicker rocker as well.  It's a great spot to read and to snuggle.  My Mom painted the birdhouse as a housewarming gift.  Thanks Mom!

In the other corner by the porch door we've set two desks.  One was here and the other we had.  They are the boys' school desks now and they spent quite a bit of time doing homework today.  At least that what they said they were doing.  Pumpkin was actually working on his letters and sounds for fun and Dumpling drew some great pictures that he gave the neighbor who stopped by.  You can't visit without receiving art from these two.  Whether you want it or not. 
I'm still adjusting to having people just pop in all the time.  At least now, I have places for them to sit! I usually make sure the percolator is loaded and ready to brew for some fresh coffee and I try to have yummies on hand to share.  I've also put the word out that if people call first and give 20 minutes notice, I'll have hot tea and scones ready for their visit.  No one calls.  They just appear.  Actually, I think it's pretty great that they all feel so at home here.

Right now, it's late and I should be in bed, but since it just got totally dark a few minutes ago (10:45 pm) it doesn't seem so late!  On a random note, I just loaded up the dehydrator with watermelon slices after being inspired by this site.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  The flavor upon cutting wasn't that great.  I'm hoping it will improve and be more concentrated after drying. ***Update:  It didn't work out well at all.  I'll try again someday with a better melon.

We were gifted with another watermelon yesterday from a neighbor that just stopped by.  It was passed on to her from someone else, but she doesn't eat watermelon.  Last week, some folks were supposed to come by for dinner, but canceled at the last minute due to illness.  The husband drove over to tell us they wouldn't be able to come and handed us a watermelon.  Must be an Idaho thing.

Linking up to Farm Girl Friday.
And to: 
DIY under $5


Bonnie said...

Your porch is shaping up beautifully! The pieces are all blending together beautifully, and well, I'd drop by too to sit somewhere so pretty :0)

The watermelon rounds gave me a chuckle, and I want to know how it works drying. I personally can't stand watermelon, but B. and the kidlets love it.

Wonderful newsy post, and a welcome diversion from menu planning so I can dart out the door the minute B. gets home to go to the grocery store.


Missy K said...

This all looks so lovely-- and every piece has a little story. Using what I already have, ironically, makes me feel "wealthier" than a no-holds-barred trip to the store would, I think.

well done-- I believe I'd be out there all the time!

Kelli said...

Your porch is so charming and pretty...I love everything! I wish I could stop by for a visit. :0)


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My washer and dryer is in the garage. It can get cold in the winter but at least they are next to each other. :)

I'd love to come and have tea and scones. Stopped at Panera this morning for the first time in ages (months?) and enjoyed one of their strawberry and cream scones. Yum...

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your porch!

Teresa said...

The porch is absolutely wonderful~perfect for all those random visitors. Sounds like a great place to live.

Deborah Jean at Dandelion House said...

Hi Kimberly!
I just love your old fashioned porch...i so enjoyed seeing your nifty thrifty decorating ideas and your younguns sitting at their school desks! Just adorable...
Thanks for sharing on the Farmgirl Friday blog hop! Will we see you again?

Prairie Rose said...

What a lovely porch!
I love it when a Porch is used and used as it should another wonderful room in the house.
Adore all the homey touches and sweet little work spaces.
Looks like a great place to dream and relax, or just a lovely spot to sit and enjoy a summer breeze while snapping beans or shelling peas:)


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